tv [untitled] February 1, 2011 9:00pm-9:30pm PST
. this does not bode well for the rest of san francisco. a building that survived as long as this one has has historic meaning and it should not be removed without a very serious consideration. the project is being expanded from one small cottage to two very large houses. i would like to say that the planning department has more work to do and that includes environmental review. >> are there any other speakers on behalf of the appellant? okay, let's go to planning for a
presentation of up to 10 minutes. >> good afternoon. on understand you received over 275 pages of information regarding this appeal. you should have been two page appeal letter from the appellant and you should have something from the product sponsor. he should have a planning department appealed response and lastly he should have a late submission by the appellate which contains over 80 pages. because the planning department did not receive the late submission from the appellant until last friday, we did not have a chance to respond in writing.
in today's presentation i will go over the issues brought before you in the letter. there are two main points that i would like to go ahead and highlight in the response from the department and the first one is that large trade is not a historic resources. this is a two-story single- family dwelling located towards the real portion of an up sloping lot. -- the rear portion. the front portion was excavated in the 1990's. here is the approved plan for the 1980's project which shows the subject, this is the street.
the areas shaded, the addition was added on to. what you see from the street is a 1980's edition. here is another photograph of what currently exists on the property. as i mentioned, in 1990, the front portion of the lot was excavated and what they have today is a concrete parking pad and a series of concrete retaining walls. because of these changes, the department determined that this is not retained enough integrity to convey any historical significance and therefore is not historic resources for the purposes of ceqa. in order to qualify for the
historic resource as defined by the california register, a building must have integrity and a series of concrete retaining walls this no longer possesses the following aspects of integrity -- design, workmanship, setting, materials, to be assisted with the original building. the department does agree with the palette that the subject property is located in a historic district. the district was prepared in 2006 and adopted by the stark preservation commission in 2009. as discussed, the proposed project a demolished existing of historic, nanking to begin building and construct two new
buildings, one of the front, one at the rear, is compatible with an appropriate to the historic district. based upon the adopted statement, the significance for this district is the residential architecture which is represented by a wide range of times, structural types that predate the earthquake. the proposed project as designed would have a building at the front and at the rear. this matches the established pattern on the block and preserves the defining features of the district. the proposed building would be similar in height and massing and to the front and rear lot buildings on the block would have a flat roof which is the dominant form in the neighborhood and the style would
be contemporary and would have wood-shingled citing, ornamentation, traditional features. to summarize, and this does not retain the integrity and is not a historic resource. there have been four separate qualified consultants are experts who came to the same conclusion. we have the architectural consultant for the project sponsor, the author of the historic statement, the planning department presentation- preservation specialist, and the commission. while the appellate states said it will destroy the historic district, the planning department believes that the proposed project as design is compatible and will not cause an adverse impact.
as designed, it would comply with the standards for treatment of historic properties. as far as the issues that were brought by the appellant, there'd be an impact to the front garden which the appellate has said is significant for a historic district and the proposed project will conflict with or be in violation of the conditions with approval that was set in place in 1998, the planning department would like to respond with the following. as you can see from the photograph there is no garden. there are older cottages at the rear followed by new york structures at the front. there is no indications that the
landscaping. what makes it eligible is a residential architecture. the proposed project is not in violation of any conditions of approval. a permit was in fact granted to construct a new building. as evidenced by the history, that project was abandoned and was never completed. the permit has expired from the conditions of approval which it is including restoring the side
and therefore along with that permit. 1271 lombard st. is a historically source. we don't believe that this would render the building in eligible for the california restaurant and therefore would not change the status of the building in any way, shape, or form. in conclusion, the department conducted an in-depth and thorough analysis and found that the building is not a historic resources. the project would not have an adverse impact to the district. the appellate has not provided any substantial evidence to refute the conclusions of the department. for reasons stated in this presentation, the ceqa determination finds the project
is appropriately exempt from environmental review. the department recommends the board of hold the determination of exemption from environmental review and deny the ceqa determination. supervisor campos: through the chair, a quick question. any response to this argument that what we are dealing with is a dispute among experts, and therefore you bear on the side of having an environmental review? i do not know what planning has to say about that. thank you. >> joy naverette of planning staff. we responded to that in our pocket.
the substantial evidence rule is the standard of review for determination of whether a building is a historic resource for the purposes of ceqa. it is not their argument that requires us to prepare an eir. in the city of fresno in 2008, the court concluded the substantial evidence rule and not the fair argument test applies to a local agency determination of whether a building that has not previously been determined eligible for the california register of historic resources has not otherwise been determined to be a historic resource, such as in this case. supervisor campos: your argument would be that there is no substantial advantage?
>> correct, we have not been presented with any substantial evidence. supervisor cohen: did the report also look at the potential impact of the new construction for surrounding properties that might be included in a new historic district? >> yes. the department invited the new project and took into consideration the offsite historic resources of any potential historic districts and considered that with the proposed project. president chiu: any follow up to your question? supervisor cohen: now that you
call me, i think i will ask one more question. this building will be eligible for the inclusion in that district, right ms. tam? >> this building is not a historic resource or a contributor to the district, but we do believe it is compatible with the district. president chiu: any additional questions to planning? seeing none, we will go to the real party of interest for a presentation of up to 10 minutes. >> i am rick gladstone. to my right is sam kelley, an attorney in my office to advise me on this for several years.
as you know, the client provided a loan to the prior owner, who intended to renovate it. he stopped making loan payments and abandoned the development. as a result, it is concrete open to the sidewalk. there are missing walls and also missing portions of ceilings. the building will come down and there will be new structures built. the prior developer was not sensitive to the neighbors. with no repayment of the loan, my client is allowed to defend any of their actions. it has been a long time to get to this hearing. the planning commission has met three times. it had to do a lot of due diligence. there was a lot of complexity. the russian hill neighborhood association -- we had to do a lot of due diligence.
a lot of the clans are somewhat disturbing, if true. -- it claims are somewhat disturbing, if true. the board spent a lot of time determining if they are. there was a full support of the neighborhood association and a unanimous vote of the planning commission to demolish the building. i remind you there was a unanimous vote of the historic preservation commission to approve this, and of the board of appeals to approve the variance for this project. although the decision is not based on popularity, my client is proud of the fact that all of the property owners who are adjacent are in full support of
this, along with the 900-person- strong neighborhood association. of the person speaking in opposition today -- none who spoke today live on adjacent properties. those who spoke live uphill from the property. we believe concerns about light, air, and you are properly dealt with at the board of appeals and the planning commission. when you appeal the historic preservation argument, you will find this it -- this appeal is about whether a new structure should be built in the same location in the middle of the lot, or the alternative that three city commissions have
approved -- one unit in the rear and one unit in the front, in the area that is now open. in this regard, it is important to note that there are nine lots between the addresses 1215 and 1275, as seen here. most of them have structures at the rear. eight have structures at the very front. the original structures at the rear were from the 1870's. within 10 years, the structures at the front were built one by one. my client's property is the exception property that has no front structure. the appellants take the position that all the the existing structure is not historic enough to preserve, that its location on a lot should be memorialized permanently by placing a new structure in the same footprint
as the existing law. to help convince you that empty space in front of the current structure has acquired its own historical status, they are making the claims -- it is very typical to assign historical status to an empty portion of a lot and not a structure. but this is extraordinarily unusual, as our historic expert can tell you. it relied on planning and the preservation commission, who do not require rebuilding a green space that no longer exists on a lot. they deal with whether the new structure is compatible. the best known preservationist is dr. william pasteur.
he conducted a survey which they did this survey is not historic. most importantly, he assigned no historical importance to the fact that there is open space and the front of the lot. what is interesting is that the appellate chose to bumper with one of the commission who helped pay for the study of mr. pasteur that indicated that the open space -- that does not mention the open space having any importance. obviously, mr. butler agrees in part with his own story. mr. butler and's own brief you -- mr. butler's own brief to you quotes from his friend mr. press tour. "by 1900, five lots contain front and back buildings." mr. pasteur also says, " the
front and back building on a lot is an urban phenomenon of the 1980's." you can understand why so many city decision makers of the sudden my client's decision to build a structure at the front -- have decided my client's decision to build a structure at the front and back has a solid historic foundation. that condition started as early as the 18 eighties -- 1880's. my final remarks. mr. butler claims conditions of approval required the continuance of various pathways among the three lots on either side of my client's should be
observed and rebuilt. he asked that the city ordered the innocent owners' next door to entirely rebuilt the front corner of his building to make a patch available for future residents to my client's lot. this came up at the planning commission. why aren't we observing those conditions of approval? here is what the deputy city attorney and zoning administrator told the planning commission last year when they brought up, "why shouldn't we be following the 1998 conditions? aren't they binding?" first of all, the 13-year-old commission approval they needed has expired and is not being relied on by my client. the new stated that the voiding of this 1269 permit boy did all conditions attached -- permit
voided all conditions attached. third, the zoning administrator and city attorney said that even if those conditions were not abandoned, and the new commission approval would read it -- and the new commission approval would -- any new commission approval would replace it. there should be a new condition of approval and a new situation addressed. lastly, the 1271 lombard building, owned by mr. costa, has nothing to do with this. it had its own approval after the 1998 commission approval.
it did not contain conditions stating that my client's lot -- future residents had to pass through that lot. further, the building permit had to be final after approval of the permit. there was construction in accordance with the permit and an issuance by the planning department and the board and the building department of a certificate of final completion for that structure on 1271, without pathways cross and it from my client's -- crossing it from my client's property. president chiu: any questions to counsel? at this time, why don't we hear from members of the public? i have several speaker cards. frederick knapp, tina moylen,
p.j. hanlen, and carol anne rodgers. first speaker. >> my name is tom burwell. i represent redwood mortgage. my brother and i and several others now run the small, private mortgage lender. the current owner of 1269 lombard street is in a limited partnership of which many of our investors are members. we took the property back after foreclosure when the developer abandoned the site in the midst of the renovation. our job was to resurrect a project to replace the unsightly condition the developer left. there is no money or profit to make of this foreclosed property. our goal was to develop the property that is acceptable and liked by the neighborhood, and to minimize additional losses to
our investors. it is a difficult task to appease everyone. we would like to thank the russian hill neighbors, the neighborhood association, 900 members strong, for its support. we wish to thank all the adjacent property owners for their patience and support with what we have proposed. upon taking back the property, we hired an architect. the initial design was not liked by the neighbors, so we hired another architect with a significant preservationist background. it also hired a well-known preservation consultant to advise us on how to create a project consistent with his torrid guidelines. we were in constant touch -- with historic guidelines. we were in constant touch with the planning department and the secretary of the interior's preservation guidelines.
we paid particular attention to the analysis of this block, prepared by a well-known historian mr. william pasteur, especially since mr. butler had helped commission that report. in deciding not to further renovate the existing structure, which relied on the written opinion of mr. pasteur and others that the building was not historic. president chiu: thank you. next speaker. >> mining is frederick napknapp. i am an architect practicing in san francisco. we evaluated whether 1269 lombard street is eligible for the california register, which would make it a historical resource porpoises of ceqa. the california register has four criteria for ceqa.
we agree with william pasteur, the foremost authority on the history of russian hill, that it is significant under criteria 3 port architecture -- three for architecture. the original physical characteristics which tell its story must be retained. today, 1269 lombard street does not retain historical integrity and does not contribute to the significance of the potential historic district. because of the 1980 addition you saw, which significantly altered the architecture of the building and the setting conditions which mr. butler has focused on, and because of partial demolition and excavation in the 19 nineties -- we agree the house is a historic resource. still, 1269 lombard street is
not a historic resource, and the project would not have significant impact, including 1271. demolition in the front yard would not be a significant impact under ceqa because the building and site are not historic resources under ceqa. nowhere did the secretaries standards require reconstruction of something that is missing, like the front yard, or something altered, like the house. president chiu: next speaker. >> i am the project architect and structural engineer. our firm was retained almost four years ago after the other architects tried to find a design to replace the blight you now see at 1269 lombard street. we have design new buildings on contextualize sensitive sites -- we have designed new buildings
on contextually sensitive sites. we made the additions to the historic building at 1 kearney. this was an equally difficult puzzle to solve. our goal was to bounce the objectives of all stakeholders. we were sensitive to the historic nature of the site, working closely with mr. knapp and city preservation. i am here primarily to answer any questions you might have. the building is an environmental challenge, due to the existing concrete retaining walls. our new design lands right on top of these walls, and no significant new foundations will need to be built. the weight of our new structure will add to the stability of the existing conditions system. we organized and participated in out reach beyond the minimum required by the planning code, and as a conseqe